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Full text of "Flora Indica Vol-I"

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VI                                                       PREFACE.
in systematic works, being unavoidably those of individuals,
and not of species, have been far too much relied on as afford-
ing means of identification.
The other great obstacle has been the immense number of
works, and especially of periodicals, we have had to consult:
120 authors' names are attached to the 430 species described,
and the completion of the (Flora, Indica* will require a re-
ference to upwards of 1000 volumes. We would now there-
fore call the attention of our fellow-botanists to the fact, that
the time is rapidly approaching, when the difficulty of ob-
taining access to the neces' .ay periodicals must render the
effectual study of botany impossible; and that the practice of
naturalists sending their several papers to different periodi-
cals, and above all to local ones, or to such as embrace many
branches of science, is one of the greatest obstacles to the
study of natural history in the present day. We have found
it impossible to obtain access to several journals of local or of
ephemeral interest, and it would be well if isolated naturalists
paused before they sought to establish such, or to send their
contributions where they must be inevitably overlooked.
After a careful review of the state of botanical literature, in
this country at any rate, we have no hesitation in saying that
the Transactions of well-established Associations for the fur-
therance of natural science, diffuse most effectually the labours
of naturalists. This is because these societies are supported
by-persons whose interest it is to disseminate their publica-
, tions at the smallest possible delay and cost; and, what is of
great importance, all papers communicated are subjected to
a .system "of supervision before publication, which ensures their
being worthy of it.
We. need not say, that while urging the propriety of cen-
tralization within reasonable limits, \ve arc far frord wishing
to see the natural and physical sciences entirely separated. In